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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  August 27, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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this is "world news." tonight taking aim, america weighs military action against syria and tonight we take you inside the mind of the leader accused of unleashing chemical war. could he make a direct hit on the united states? our martha raddatz is in the region with the news. extreme weather forcing children to cool off in ice cubes, schools closed in six states and out west have fearless firefighters stopped the blaze near yosemite. watch dog, we find $1 million of taxpayer money going to waste in a closet. trying to get action tonight. hidden world, the closed life of the amish, is it finally exposed and is there really an amish mafia?
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>> good evening. as we begin tonight, the clock is ticking on u.s. military action in syria. the white house says a decision is near and u.s. war ships are in position. and the rest of the world is also joining the debate about what kind of action and exactly when. the goal, to stop a man using brutal chemical weapons 5,000 miles away. abc's martha raddatz has it all from the middle east. >> reporter: he is the man at the center of this horror. a brutal dictator who the vice president said today is undeniably responsible for gassing his own innocent people. >> there is no doubt who is responsible for this heinous use of chemical weapons in syria. the syrian regime. >> reporter: tonight there seems no question that the u.s. is ready to strike a punishing blow to assad. u.s. war ships are in place,
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cruise missiles at the ready, the targets in syria selected. >> you're ready to go like that? >> we're ready to go like that. >> reporter: what might assad do in response? the syrian regime has hundreds of tons of mustard gas and stock piles of sarin. add to that 100,000 missiles and rockets including thousands of powerful scud missiles which could reach any target in neighboring israel. today in israel a run on gas masks, requests increasing four fold. prime minister benjamin netanyahu saying israel is ready for any scenario and if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond in strength. there is no one stronger in this region. nuclear armed israel has the most advanced ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and missile defense systems making experts believe assad would be crazy to try to hit israel.
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>> it might create an opportunity for israel that they would be glad to take advantage of and perhaps assad would rue the day that he gave them this opportunity. >> reporter: if assad is madman enough to rain chemicals down on his people knowing the possible consequences there is no telling what he would do if crews missiles start raining down on his own regime. >> martha raddatz joins me from jerusalem tonight. >> are they going to target him? >> they're not going to target him personally. they have made a point of that but certainly military targets in his regime. that's got to make his nervous. >> i remember meeting him and interviewing him. i should remind everybody he grew up a lot of his life in london. he's a physician, educated there. why wouldn't they target him? what do they expect from him next? >> i think they're afraid of reaction and they don't want
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regime change. the administration has been very clear about that. this is a limited strike. it's only to prevent any further chemical attacks. they don't want to get involved in this civil war but it must be extraordinary for you to look at this man as you say educated in london who is doing these kinds of brutal, brutal things. >> he's someone who never expected to take over from his father. thank you so much, martha raddatz again reporting from jerusalem tonight. now the news back here at home, there are hopeful signs tonight that firefighters may have saved yosemite national park in the nick of time. the fire stopped before it reached the gates. abc's neal karlinsky now on the front line once again. >> reporter: diane, good evening from inside the fire zone tonight where for the first time officials believe they have turned a corner on this one. they say the fire is roughly 20 percent contained. the areas of concern right now are to the northwest, towards the city of tuolumne.
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they believe that have that one fairly well in hand and also to the east into dense forest land that officials say they're not concerned about. at the same time people who live in the area have been dealing with dense heavy smoke for more than a week now. schools have been closed. tourism is way down. we talked to one business owner who says he's lost about 98 percent of the business he normally has this time of year. however, yosemite, the heart of it, remains wide open with blue skies, clear sailing, they say, for the holiday weekend. >> still hoping people will come. thank you, neil. that's great news. what a debt owed those firefighters. the midwest like a convection oven. look at this map. heat warnings stretching from nebraska and illinois to minnesota where the temperature felt like more than 100 degrees. near record temperatures forced some schools to close today, and the schools that were open had fans on full blast and they gave children popsicles and ice to keep cool.
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there may not be relief until this weekend. there is a lot of cleaning up to do in phoenix tonight after an eery dust storm, a haboob. it looked like a huge doomsday tidal wave 4,000 feet high slowly moving over the area, daylight suddenly vanishing, a picture captured the cloud moving toward a baseball stadium pushed by 60 mile per hour winds. the stadium cleared out. around town, visibility was less than 100 feet. she had so many rooting for her and now tonight the little girl who spent six months in the hospital getting a new set of lungs is home and looking forward to starting her new life. abc's linzie janis on a homecoming. >> reporter: 11-year-old sarah murnaghan is home tonight after two lung transplants and more than six months in the hospital. >> sarah is looking forward to being a regular little kid. >> reporter: about four months
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ago sarah was dying of late stage cystic fibrosis and the murnaghans sued to get her on the adult transplant list, something she was denied. because of a law that prioritizes children 12 and older. her parents reached out to the media months ago in hopes of highlighting her plight and sparked a national debate over transplant rules. in june, a federal judge ordered a temporary halt to the so called under 12 rule and sarah got her lungs. after her little body rejected the first pair, doctors tried a second transplant three days later. so far they say her prognosis is good. >> how does it feel to be home? >> good. >> reporter: sarah's parents say they'll continue to fight the under 12 rule but some say sarah's case may have set a precedent for allowing medical decisions to be made in the courtroom. >> people might rightly ask whether it's fair for lungs to be allocated for people who can create the biggest media splash.
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>> reporter: sarah is now ready to make the best of her new life, sharing her plans for recovery in her first post transplant interview with cnn. >> you're not going to be easy. >> i'm just going for possible, and what's in front of me right now is possible. >> reporter: wisdom, her parents say, comes from a lifetime of being a fighter. linzie janis, abc news, pennsylvania. >> looking at the possible tonight. ginger zee. >> george zimmerman wants the state that put him on trial to pay a lot of his legal costs, no small amount and florida may have to do it. here's abc's matt gutman. >> reporter: george zimmerman is a free man but his not guilty verdict could cost the state of florida a pretty penny.
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s. >> we're still tallying up the figures but it's going to be $200,000 or $300,000 in cost money. >> reporter: he was acquitted last month of a single count of second degree murder after shooting 17-year-old trayvon martin in february 2012. according to florida law, because of that he has the right to expense, quote, reasonable expenses but not lawyers fees. he can expense expert witnesses, travel, photo copies and possibly the 3-d photo used in the courtroom. his lawyers expect a fight. >> there is a lot of money outstanding that has not been covered. >> reporter: zimmerman's attorneys say their client has been living off of donations to his website. the fee for their services could have topped $2 million. as for his whereabouts, they are still unknown. his lawyers say he's in hiding, but he's been spotted last month in texas by a state trooper who didn't seem to know who he was. >> you didn't see my name? >> no. what a coincidence.
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>> reporter: three weeks later this photo with the own of a gun factory in florida, the same manufacturer that made the gun used to shoot martin. he may be back in court soon, his wife faces a perjury charge for lying to the court about donations. his wife pleaded not guilty and has a court hearing tomorrow. matt gutman, abc news, miami. now tonight we hear a former president talk about the moment someone tried to assassinate him. it's a long lost tape of president gerald ford testifying, describing the moment back in 1975 when that strange woman in red, a member of the manson family called squeaky fromme emerged from a crowd in sacramento. he says he looked at her face. he described it as weathered and then he says he saw the gun. here are his words. >> i had the impression she wanted to speak to me or shake my hand and as i moved to either shake hands or speak to her, i then noticed the gun.
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>> squeaky fromme wore a kind of nun's red robe that day. she said she only wanted to get ford's attention to discuss red wood trees with him. she didn't fire a shot, served 34 years in prison and is now out on parole living in upstate new york. and from washington tonight, the government program spending billions of dollars in taxpayer money so everyone can work faster online. but what about the $1 million we found going to waste in just one closet. enough money to pay for dozens of teachers. our watch dog, david kerley, back on the case of the costly program. >> reporter: speed, we crave it on the internet. a fast connection. and we need it to remain competitive in a global economy says the president. >> to harness the full power of the internet. that means faster and more widely available broadband. >> reporter: to spread broadband across the country the government came up with $7
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billion and thousands of communities have been hooked up. take a look at this. these boxes stacked in a west virginia closet are blazing fast, high speed routers. you paid for them, 20 grand each. they're unused. the state bought too many and the wrong ones. one and a quarter million just in this closet gathering dust for three years now, enough for a year's pay for 30 teachers. that's not all. congressional investigators questioned other spending asking if up to $230 million was wasted. >> it's the people's dollars that we're dealing with. none of it should be wasted. in this case it's obscene. >> reporter: in west virginia alone, $14 million wasted according to the state auditor there. critics worry about where the money was spent. when they did use those routers in west virginia, they put some in places like this, the small community library in shepherdstown. there are less than 5,000 annual visitors to this library who now
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have screaming fast service, but two local high schools nearby got none of those routers. >> of course the high schools should get it. >> i don't think the government really does a good job spending money at all. >> reporter: is the government doing enough to make sure the money is well spent? we went to ask a top obama administration official responsible for most of the spending, larry strickling. >> can we ask him a couple of questions before the hearing? >> no, no. >> reporter: after being grilled by members of congress -- >> what have we got for $2.8 million? >> reporter: he refused to stop. he did defend the program. >> we're quite happy with the program. >> reporter: happy? members of congress say they still can't get answers, and ask how much really was wasted? david kerley, abc news, washington. and we thank all of you who wrote us about our watch dog reports on facebook last night. we want to hear more of your thoughts. keep them coming. still ahead here on "world
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news," a close society under the spotlight tonight, secrets revealed. do the amish really have a mafia? >> and the image rocketed around the world, the story behind this now very famous picture. at humana, our medicare agents sit down with you and ask. hanging out with this guy. he's just the love of my life. [ male announcer ] getting to know you is how we help you choose the humana medicare plan that works best for you. mi familia. ♪ [ male announcer ] we want to help you achieve your best health, so you can keep doing the things that are important to you. keeping up with them. i love it! [ male announcer ] helping you -- now that's what's important to us. we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. this labor day, don't invest in a mattress until you visit a sleep number store. once you experience it, there's no going back. oh, yeah!
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once i started taking the lyrica, the pain started subsiding. [ male announcer ] it's known that diabetes damages nerves. lyrica is fda approved to treat diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is not for everyone. it may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new, or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, changes in eyesight including blurry vision, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or skin sores from diabetes. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. ask your doctor about lyrica today. it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain. to hear more of terry's story, visit there are about 250,000 amish living peaceful, simple lives right here in the united
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states. the group that shuns the modern world says tonight that a reality show about them is anything but real. abc's linsey davis decided to look at what's behind the amish mafia. >> reporter: in lancaster county, pennsylvania, some 50,000 amish live as they have for nearly 300 years, simply and humbly, almost no modern technology. but a hit reality show is painting this peaceful christian community as brimming with intrigue and controversy. >> the mafia operates outside of amish law. >> reporter: "the amish mafia," in its second season, airing tonight on discovery channel follows this man, "lebanon levi," and his assistants, who purportedly look after the amish community here in lancaster county, and do the dirty work the church can't. >> levi's a great guy, but if you cross him, he's not afraid to crack some skulls. >> reporter: they are said to work as an internal police system that takes the matters of their community into their own hands.
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they also keep an eye on the teenagers, who take time off to experience the outside world before committing their lives to the sect. >> i make sure the peace is being kept and everybody is obeying the rules. >> reporter: as a whole, the amish deny the existence of the amish mafia. much of the show's content has been strongly criticized by amish scholars. questions have even been raised as to whether some of the cast members are actors. but producers say the main cast members aren't actors, they just haven't been baptized in the amish church so technically the strict rules don't apply. so why have you not decided not to get baptized? >> i'd rather have a computer and watch tv, maybe. drive a car, and not drive a horse. >> reporter: if this show is real reality tv, then the "centuries-old plain" lifestyle certainly isn't what it used to be.
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linsey davis, abc news, lancaster county, pennsylvania. >> there will be more of the hidden amish community tonight on "nightline." be sure to watch. still ahead here, a surveillance tape we never expected to see. here's the wonderful story coming up next. expected to see. here's the wonderful story coming up next.
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the store to make purchases. there is no clerk around because it turns out the door was mistakenly left wide open. the store was closed to be closed. the men got sunglasses, batteries, waited for a cashier but finally gave up. so they added up their own bill and left the money on the counter. the owner said he wanted them to come back. today they did and he let them go on a shopping spree for free. we have a glimpse of cher noble tonight nearly 30 years after the disaster of the nuclear plant. it's being reclaimed by mother earth. new images showing how the trees and weeds sprung up around the nuclear site, tops of buildings peeking out. here's what the city of 49,000 looked like before the radiation and here it is now. scientists say it will not be safe for human habitation for another 20,000 years. tonight a father is defending his daughter. hate it or not, people were
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outraged by the performance at the video music awards. that's miley cyrus with robin thicke. so many parents angry, but tonight her father, billy ray cyrus, is weighing in, supporting his daughter and saying, "i love her unconditionally and that will never change." when we come back here, a smiling couple and why america is smiling with them, a now famous photo, the inspiring story behind it. photo, the inspiring story behind it. if you're looking for help relieving heartburn, caused by acid reflux disease, relief is at hand. for many, nexium provides 24-hour heartburn relief and may be available for just $18 a month. there is risk of bone fracture and low magnesium levels. side effects may include headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. if you have persistent diarrhea, contact your doctor right away. other serious stomach conditions may exist. don't take nexium if you take clopidogrel. relief is at hand for just $18 a month.
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talk to your doctor about nexium. a man who doesn't stand still. but jim has afib, atrial fibrillation -- an irregular heartbeat, not caused by a heart valve problem. that puts jim at a greater risk of stroke. for years, jim's medicine tied him to a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but now, with once-a-day xarelto®, jim's on the move. jim's doctor recommended xarelto®. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce afib-related stroke risk. but xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem. that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. so jim's not tied to that monitoring routine. [ gps ] proceed to the designated route. not today. [ male announcer ] for patients currently well managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how xarelto® and warfarin compare in reducing the risk of stroke. xarelto® is just one pill a day taken with the evening meal. plus, with no known dietary restrictions,
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finally tonight there is a photo of a picture perfect couple. you might have no idea of the story behind it, but it is incredibly beautiful about someone who is brave, someone who is like sunlight and together how they gave a lesson to everyone. abc's jon donvan. >> reporter: in the "picture's-worth-a-thousand- words" category, what are some words this one calls up? of a couple taking the day a photographer dropped by for a bunch of family photos. but this one, spontaneous, the photographer happened to put on facebook, and then it rocketed. an intimate moment -- she helps him like this a lot -- that went
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viral because of the words that were not spoken. like the word serious as in serious pain. back in afghanistan jesse cottle stepped on an ied, the after math overheard via a fellow marine's helmet camera -- joining him to back then, 2009, home but not home, as his mom said then -- >> she came into his life when many would look away. kelly became his wife when the truth is many would back away. when she looks at jesse -- >> his personality and the way he is outweighs his injuries by so much that you sort of forget about it after a while. >> reporter: how about the word strength, the pure physical kind it takes to do this, her back, her arms. these wives need that kind of strength and the other kind. >> her internal strength is probably even greater and something i'm very thankful for as well. >> reporter: finally word gratifying for it is for the rest of us who do not know the
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war wounded that these two gave us a story of the truth of the loss he gave to us that says without words that there is a way back home. jon donvan, abc news, washington. >> we thank you so much for watching tonight. we're always there at, "nightline" later and i'll see you again right back here tomorrow night. >> tonight a fairfield grass fire spreads throughout the neighborhood. >> also, flames from the rim fire have now reaches hetch hetchy. we're live as firefighters there begin to make headway. >> and how to get 280,000
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commuter as cross the bay trance yilt agencies rev up for a bridge closure. >> the traffic app helping everybody get around when the bay bridge shuts down is now hands free. >> that breaking news is the story we've been following. a live picture over a neighborhood in fairfield today that went up in flames this afternoon. several homes have been destroyed in what appears to be a string of spot fires along interstate 80. good evening, everybody, i'm larry beil. >> and i'm carolyn johnson. the started as a grass fire, first reported after 3:30 this afternoon, near interstate 80 but quickly spread through the adjacent neighborhood and destroyed several homes. >> within a half hour, sky 7 was on the scene. it was clear this was no ordinary vegetation blaze. flames spread across the stretch of homes along the freeway. we saw several homes live,
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engulfed in flames, we can tell you five, possibly six homes were damaged or destroyed. >> now 50 others have been evacuated including an apartment building on north texas street. and an evacuation center has been established for all of the people who had to leave the neighborhood. >> we have a view of the fire fight. the roarer newspaper shared us this video using tout video sharing app. crews fought the fire using ladder crews, you can see the concerned neighbors looking on as firefighters rushed to the scene of basically every time they turned another fire was breaking out. >> travis air force base sent crews to help battle this, they do now have four units on the scene. we have a view to share with you this,